Actually, it’s was more of “shorthanded” for Rain or Shine since only Paul Lee was unavailable due to injury. Despite only being a man short, ROS got chump change from Norwood (7 points on 33% shooting) and Chan (10 points on 23% from the field, 0/7 from beyond the arc).
With the Aces (who were sporting some very fly black kits), putting the pressure on the defensive end right after tip-off, the Elasto Painters couldn’t get anything to go from the arc (3/24 or 12.5% from three), nor was it any easier for them inside the paint, where Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss, Gabby Espinas and Wendell McKines were just bigger and they all played a tough, physical defensive style that had even Belga and Quinahan looking intimidated. What ensued was a 94-79 massacre which gave Alaska its 1st win and dropped Rain or Shine to 2-2 for the conference.
Ultimately, Alaska’s size advantage gave them this victory. Throughout the game, Coach Luigi just kept on running the offense from the post, giving Thoss and McKines room to operate down low. Thoss made just 2/11 shots from inside, but McKines, Espinas and Abueva out-willed the Elasto Painters to the tune of five, three and four offensive rebounds respectively. These gave the Aces a lot of extra chances and momentum plays, especially late in the game, where McKines repeated paint attacks and put-backs off offensive boards helped halt a small ROS run.
Let’s check out our keys to the game:
The Elasto Painters managed to somewhat stay with the Aces throughout the 1st half, but in terms of intensity, Coach Yeng’s boys just didn’t look like they were in it tonight. Either that, or Alaska’s brand of defense just took them out of the game early.
All in all, the ROS engine just can’t run with missing and underperforming parts… something that has been plaguing the team in the last couple of games.
Bottle That Energy
This key was supposed to be about stopping Calvin Abueva, but let’s just talk about Wendell McKines instead.
30 points (10/20 from the field, 10/15 from the line), 13 rebounds (five offensive), three assists and two steals. Admittedly, that line’s pedestrian when compared to some of the performances other imports have put together this conference. However, the way McKines got it done was really a revelation. His intensity inside the paint was relentless, as he was mostly responsible for Belga and Quinahan’s foul trouble all game long. Despite his small-ish size, he just refused to back down, showing a sophisticated post game that left the Rain or Shine frontline confused and groping for answers. Late in the game, with both Quinahan and Belga out of the game, McKines repeatedly took Reid inside and easily scored on him multiple times. Simply put, there was nothing any Elasto Painter could do to stop McKines and Alaska in this game.
Norwood: 7 points on 33% shooting (he did get his 1st field goal of the conference).
Chan: 10 points on 23% from the field, 0/7 from beyond the arc.
You guys be the judge of that.
Is it time for a change? There are those who are starting to clamour for it. We’ll see in the coming days what comes out of the grape vine.